Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Kingdom of Bahrain celebrated the centennial of the first bank in the country on October 27.
The banking sector has great importance in the kingdom for in addition to its historical depth which goes back as early as before the 1920s of the last century, the sector represents one of the pillars of Bahrain’s strategy to diversify sources of revenues and broaden the scope of economic activities.
His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has deputized his Advisor HH Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa to attend a celebration marking the centennial of the banking sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The ceremony was organized by the Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB) in the main building of Bahrain Financial Harbour, in the presence of senior officials and leading personalities from the financial and banking sector.
HH Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa conveyed the greetings and congratulations of HRH the Premier to all participants in the event which celebrates the pioneering role of the financial and banking sector as the main contributor to economic growth and development in the kingdom. He stressed the big development strides made by Bahrain thanks to the valuable directives of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. He also pointed out the paramount importance accorded by the government to the financial and banking sector by providing it with all legal, organizational and logistic requirements which enabled Bahrain to become a financial hub attracting prominent financial and banking institutions.
HH Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa paid tribute to HRH the Prime Minister for his unflinching support to the financial and banking sector which enjoys international respect thanks to the commitment of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and other banks operating in Bahrain to the organizational and monitoring frameworks. He said celebrating the centenary of the financial and banking sector comes at a time the global economy is witnessing major challenges because of the novel coronavirus. He pointed out Bahrain’s ability to brave those challenges competently.
HH Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa expressed sincere congratulations to the honorees, describing them as a source of pride for their dedication and diligence in serving the nation. He wished the financial and banking sector further success and development.
CBB Governor Rashid Al Meraj expressed heartfelt thanks and gratitude to HRH the Prime Minister for patronizing the ceremony which, he said, reflects his unwavering support to the financial and banking sector as well as keenness on its development. He stressed that the sector has witnessed over the past century major growth, pointing out the strides made over the past five decades. He added that the baking march has gained momentum thanks to the continuous support of the leadership. He expressed thanks and gratitude to HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, for their support and directives to continuously develop the sector.
The CBB Governor paid tribute to all affiliates of the financial and banking sector for their remarkable contributions to bringing about the achievements. He also expressed thanks to the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, led by Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, as well as the Economic Development Board and all relevant government institutions for their role, alongside CBB, in making the accomplishments.
For his part, Board Chairman of Bahrain Association of Banks Adnan Ahmed Yusef hailed HRH the Premier’s patronage of the celebration which, he said, embodies his pioneering role in the development of the financial and banking sector in Bahrain. He underlined the numerous achievements made over the past century which have boosted the kingdom’s status on the world map as one of the key financial and banking hubs.
Then, a video was shown on the development of the financial and banking sector in Bahrain over the past century and its role in backing the national economy and the kingdom’s development march. The video also shed light on the efforts of HRH the Prime Minister in developing the sector and boosting the kingdom’s regional and international status.
After that, names of the sector’s pioneers, who were honored by HRH the Premier, were announced. Then, HH Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa inaugurated the memorial which embodies the glorious history of the financial and banking sector. The memorial was made by the Bahrain Association of Banks especially for the occasion and was installed permanently at the main entry of Bahrain Financial Harbour.
HRH the Premier’s patronage of the centenary of the banking sector is an extension of his pioneering role in shaping economic growth in the Kingdom throughout its modern history which yielded many dividends including the development of the banking services sector and mapping out policies for comprehensive development.
During the celebration of the centennial of the banking sector, which witnessed a massive turnout, a memorial depicting the sector’s glorious history unveiled. The CBB Governor and BAB Chairman presented copies of the first book highlighting the sector’s growth and accomplishments, entitled “Bahrain’s Banking Sector-100 years of Challenges and Achievements, marking the occasion and a commemorative stamp and model to HH Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.